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The Brief: Abbott Tackles Life Story, Constitution in New Book

Next month sees the release of the first book by Gov. Greg Abbott, a project that will combine how he overcame personal adversity with his proposal to overhaul the U.S. Constitution to place more power with the states.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a Rotary Club of San Antonio luncheon on March 23, 2016.

The Big Conversation

Next month sees the release of the first book by Gov. Greg Abbott, a project that will combine how he overcame personal adversity with his proposal to overhaul the U.S. Constitution to place more power with the states.

The Tribune’s Patrick Svitek reported the news Monday morning.

He wrote that the book comes 16 months into Abbott's first term as governor, and it will be published by “a conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster that has also published books by Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh.”

Abbott figures prominently in a report published this morning by the Tribune’s Edgar Walters documenting the Abbott administration’s response to the death of an infant under the state’s care less than a week after he had taken office.

Emails obtained by the Tribune show “a governor and his reform-minded staff becoming deeply involved in the operations of the state’s child welfare agency from Abbott’s very first days in office.”

Walters added, “Outside groups have praised the governor’s actions. They describe Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, the parents of an adopted daughter, as well-meaning policymakers who have drawn needed attention to a broken system. … But not all of the results have been positive.”

One result of curtailing the number of temporary placement of children with friends or extended family has been “a spike in the number of children spending multiple nights in state offices, the state’s placement of last resort, to its highest point in nearly a decade.”

Trib Must Reads

New Carrizo Eradication Effort Reignites Old Debate, by Julián Aguilar — A state plan to eradicate invasive Carrizo cane along the Rio Grande — cited by Gov. Greg Abbott as a border security priority — is finally getting some funding after sitting dormant for almost a year.

Analysis: In Texas Case, Supreme Court Rules Nonvoters are People, Too, by Ross Ramsey — In a ruling on political redistricting this week, the U.S. Supreme Court made an argument for equal representation from legislators even if that means voters don't get an equal say in electing them.

Cruz Aims To Make a Win in Wisconsin Matter, by Patrick Svitek — Ted Cruz expects to win in Wisconsin on Tuesday, but will it matter?

Federal Judge Approves $20.8 Billion BP Spill Settlement, by Jim Malewitz — A federal judge on Monday approved a $20.8 billion settlement between a group of five Gulf Coast states — including Texas — and BP stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

In Texas Case, Supreme Court Upholds One Person, One Vote, by Jordan Rudner — In a unanimous decision released Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold Texas' current system for drawing legislative districts so that they are roughly equal in population. 

The Day Ahead

•    The House Public Health Committee meets at 9 a.m. in the Capitol extension. On the agenda is a look at the impact of chronic disease in Texas and identifying major regional chronic health challenges.

•    When the House Government Transparency & Operation Committee meets at 10 a.m. in the Capitol extension, members plan to identify and address potential gaps in the state’s cybersecurity policies, examine purchasing practices by state agencies and study the use of commercial cloud computing by state agencies and public universities.

•    The House Urban Affairs Committee will hear invited testimony and discuss potential gaps in cities’ cybersecurity policy and how to ensure personal information held by cities is secure. The committee meets at 1 p.m. in the Capitol extension.

•    In what may be a make or break moment for some GOP presidential candidates, Republicans in Wisconsin are headed to the polls to decide who they would like to see as their party standard-bearer. Check back later tonight with the Tribune for results and a quick recap of the action.


Harris County Commissioner Locke changes mind and will seek election to postHouston Chronicle

Data shows lawmakers hiked tuition faster than schools, The Dallas Morning News

Rising college tuition prompts congressional scrutinyHouston Chronicle

Attorneys: Southlake lawyer was ‘de facto’ cartel leader, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The fog of war against mosquitoes, San Antonio Express-News

Parkland’s strategic plan calls for cutting costs, improving care, through innovation, The Dallas Morning News

County to open fewer runoff polling locations, McAllen Monitor

Former Dist. 19 candidate backing Robertson; Arrington touts support from mayors, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Court decision protects border, experts say, El Paso Times

City, Austin school board look to save millions with tax swap plan, Austin American-Statesman 

Quote to Note

“There is an ironclad rule of politics which is no funny hats.”

— Cheese lover Ted Cruz explaining to reporters why he would not wear a cheesehead hat during a campaign stop in Wisconsin.

Today in TribTalk

Don’t assume Top 10 Percent should go to Austin or College Station, by Brent Baker — I respect the University of Texas and Texas A&M University, but to assume those universities are the best choice for every one of our state’s best and brightest high school students is misguided.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation with Sen. Carlos Uresti and Rep. Poncho Nevárez on April 13 at Sul Ross State University in Alpine

•    A Conversation with Dawn Buckingham on April 21 at the Austin Club

•    A Conversation on San Antonio & the Legislature: The Issues in the Interim on April 26 at the University of Texas at San Antonio

•    A Symposium on the Texas Economy on April 29 at the University of Houston

•    The Texas Tribune's third Texas-centric Trivia Night on May 1 at The Highball in Austin

•    A Conversation on Mental Health Matters on May 10 at KLRU Studio 6A in Austin

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